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Thursday, July 24, 2008

My blogging journey with "A Learner's Diary"

It's been a year ago, I was suggesting some links (internet safety sites) to a teacher, when I realized that my son would become teen within few years and I also need to save those links for me.

After few weeks, at holidays from school I planned to create a blog for parents and teachers with useful information and resources. It was October 2007 when I started writing for this blog.

As a teacher I had to search hard disk of my computer for any relevant information, because from the very start of internet access, I loved to search for teaching or learning stuff and saved most of the stuff.

Mainly the purpost behind creating this blog was to collect the stuff about:

- Learning

- Online safety

- Safe sites for kids and teens

- Useful sites for teachers

- Informative stuff for parents

- Learning strategies

- Awareness about health, skill development etc.

- Tips and useful site links for kids, children and students

- Free resources, useful links

While searching the net, there are millions of sites with lot of information. But I selected the sites which were offering FREE stuff and reliable information.

May be I have missed many topics, but as the journey is continued, I have plan to add more stuff which would be equally beneficial for all. Initially I didn't try to submit my site to blog directories or search engines to bring traffic, because I wanted to keep this blog as a reference for myself or fellow teachers. But after some time I realized that this site can offer a lot to parents and teachers and increasing number of visitores and their comments were an encouragement for me.

So come back often to this blog and leave your comments. I appreciate your suggestions in this regard.

Teach your children to be money wise

Today's economical situation is making money manangement harder for every common person. Many of us didn't learn about finances, making plan or budget and saving for the future and at the time of needs, we are in critical situation. It is now time to teach ourselves and our new generation about money management.

In today's economic environment, it is critical to understand how money works and, more important, how to make it work for you. It's unfortunate that young adults are now entering a world where they don't have time to learn financial skills gradually. Often they become victims of poor credit and debt practices before they realize how it even happened.

Even if your children are very young, remember that the sooner you start teaching these skills, the better off your child will be when they need them. One of the most difficult issues parents have to face is Step One. This first and most important step is to examine your own attitudes about money. This is extremely important because your children learn more from what they see you do than from what you tell them. You can preach to your kids every day that ?A penny saved is a penny earned,? or that ?A fool and his money are soon parted,? but it won't do any good if they see that you waste your own money consistently.

- It is very important to communicate openly with young kids about money, in simple terms that they can comprehend. Too often, young adults have to learn about credit and debt the hard way: by fending for themselves. It's better that they learn about personal finances under your guidance.

Some tips that will help your younger children get off on the right foot include involving them in financial planning. While a young child won't understand investing at the complex level of an adult, a savings account in his or her name will help them understand the basic benefits of saving money and watching it grow.

Tips

* If you give the child an allowance, let him or her be in charge of spending it. This is a great way to teach the relationship between their actions and the positive or negative consequences that follow.

* Provide extra income opportunities. Help them learn that money is something you earn, not something you are entitled to. This is also a great way to get the child involved in extra family chores.

* Take your child shopping with you. Explain to them why you make the decisions you make while shopping. By showing them the details you take into consideration, you'll be teaching them how to be a wise consumer.

Taking these steps will go a long way in setting a foundation for younger kids.

Source: Teaching Children

*** Another article: Teaching teens

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A message to everyone - "Be Thankful"

God has blessed us so many things but we humans are not thankful at all. I have learned from my own life that if you want peace of mind and happiness in your life, learn to say "Thanks" to God.

During search at some personal sites, I found this web site, with collection of many quotes, poems. As I love to read quotations, wise words, parables, moral stories I selected "one" for this blog readers. I hope that this message would be inspiring for everyone.
Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something.
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations.
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge.
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary.
Because it means you've made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those
who are also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.


Source for more beautiful words and verses: Be thankful

Monday, July 21, 2008

Interactive and infromative sites for students -Part 1

These sites are interactive and informative, so students can learn a lot for their class room or project works, parents can encourage their children, and kids to enjoy and browse these edutainment sites. And remember that these all sites are free to browse.

1- Site about insects "BugBios"

BugBios site aims to help you really see insects for the miniature marvels they represent and to understand how intertwined our cultures have become with these alien creatures. At the home page you can start your search with the link, “entophiles, cedigest, class: insecta.

Click here to enter your search query in the field provided to search the site.

More links to find a collection of insect-related Web sites
Photos used are : by Dexter Sear

2- "The Living Desert"

"Living Desert" tour through The Living Desert and the deserts of the world you are about to embark on will show you how language has misled everyone into thinking of the desert as a surly, outlaw landscape instead of a fragile, interesting ecosystem.

What you can find at the site?

You’ll see remarkable plants, animals, places and natural phenomena associated with deserts and learn how The Living Desert is helping to interpret and protect them.

You will also find out about one of the most unusual institutions in the United States. There isn’t a single word to describe all that The Living Desert is and does. We must string words together, like beads: zoo and endangered species conservation center – botanical gardens – natural history museum – wilderness park – nature preserve – education center. The thread that holds all the beads together is the word “desert.”

More site to come -----------------------------

Monday, July 14, 2008

Food Allergy Website for kids "Fan Kid"

Do you know that "Over 12 million Americans have food allergies; more than 3 million of them are children (that's almost 1 out of every 25 kids)"

This hard fact requires not only parents but kid's attention to learn about "food allergy".

Kids should know what food can cause allergy, what happens inside the body when a reaction occurs? etc.

Fan Kids.org is an interactive site from "The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network -FAAN" which provides information and educational resources about food allergy.
I have collected some information from the site. Kids can get more knowledge at this site and enjoy to learn about food allergies.

More facts:

The most common allergy-causing foods are peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, etc.), milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy. Recent studies showed that 3.3 million Americans are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts, and 6.9 million are allergic to seafood.

What are some of the symptoms of food allergy?

The most common symptom of a food-allergy reaction is hives. Other symptoms can include one or more of the following:

- tingling in the mouth
- swelling of the tongue and throat
- difficulty breathing
- stomach cramps
- vomiting
- diarrhea
- eczema

How can you treat these symptoms?
Your doctor will tell you what kind of medicine you need to take.

How can you prevent a reaction from happening?
Strictly avoiding the food that triggers your allergy is the only way to prevent a reaction.

Tips section if you have food allergy.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Parent Involvement in Education Plays An Important Role To Student Success


Being an educator and a parent I believe that parent's involvement in education, plays an important role in child development or success.

A recent review of the research literature by Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory found that,

"clearly, parent involvement is effective in fostering achievement and affective gains at all levels, and schools are encouraged to engage and maintain this involvement throughout the elementary, middle school and secondary years".

Parents need to be involved throughout the school year reading to their children, helping with assignments, participating in parent events at the school and establishing a working relationship with teachers
."

Child Development Institute was founded by Robert Myers, Ph.D. Dr. Myers is a Clinical Child Psychologist with 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents, families and parents.

You can get information on child development, parenting, family life, teenagers, learning, health & safety, child psychology and mental health including ADHD.

What you can get at the site?

* Parents resouces

* Child Development : Information on child development including prenatal, physical, intellectual, language and social development.

* Parenting Parenting information on child development, discipline, family life, teenagers, learning, health & safety and child psychology plus news for parents.

* Psychology page provides information, research & practical guides for parents on various mental disorders found in children and adolescents. Also provides information on promoting health psychosocial development in kids and teens.

* Improving Your Child's Learning Ability: Information related to assisting parents in helping their children and teenagers to improve their learning and study skills. Techniques on how to develop motivation, attention, comprehension, organization and creativity are provided.

* Child & Teen Health and Safety Issues:
Providing information on health & issues for children and adolescents from leading experts and professional organizations.

More links:
- East Renfrewshire council

-

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Now students can get FREE home work help via internet

Often children or students need help in homework, but they don't get help around them. May be they are away from their schools, class mate or tutor, to get timely guidance. What about getting onlline homework help?

This is called One-to-One Online Tutoring.

This free offer is from SWAP Library Network a non-profit project from Government of Australia.

Through this online site, Children and Young Adults can get Free Homework and Exam Help from Qualified Tutors via the Internet.

This free service allows anyone to come to any of the SWAP library branches or log on from home, Monday - Friday, from 4pm to 8pm and receive expert help from real tutors via the Internet.
Online Tutoring is simple to use. Learners just log on from home or from designated computer terminals at their local library, enter their year level and the subject they need help in and are immediately connected to an expert tutor in an Online Classroom for help.

Subjects covered include:
Mathematics (yrs 4-6, yrs 7-10, yrs 11-12 general, intermediate and specialist/extension)
Science (yrs 4-6, yrs 7-10, yrs 11-12)
• General biology, chemistry, physics
English (general English, essay writing, grammar, usage, punctuation)
Assignment research (humanities and social science subjects)
Study skills (time management, note taking, exam revision).

Learn from Qualified Tutors in an Online Classroom:

Students and tutors can review specific homework, exam, and assignment questions using features such as controlled chat, an interactive white board and shared Web browsing. Tutors and students can type maths equations using a special equation tool, review educational Web sites using a shared browser tool and much more for a rewarding learning experience. The tutors are certified teachers, professional tutors, post-graduates and advanced undergraduates from top Australian universities. They all have years of tutoring experience, are experts in the subjects they teach and have passed government background checks. They also love to teach and share their knowledge online.
Your tutor is online and waiting to help you Monday to Friday from 4pm -8pm!

Remember: This offer is from Australia, so better to check the timings with your local timings.

Just follow these simple steps to connect to your tutor.

1. Go to the Your Tutor website: salibraries.yourtutor.com.au
2. Enter your library card number and begin!

In order to use Your Tutor all you need is a connection to the Internet and a web browser with the flash plugin installed.

"Jerry Burm" - helping us raise children into happy adults

I din't review "Jerry Burm" in my previous post, because I felt that her sites need a seperate post. Because we all want to raise our children happy adults. There is a lot to learn for parents and teachers who can discover "learning disability" among them or children. I hope that learning can show us a way to recover from any kind of disability symptoms.

Jerry Burm believes that:

"People are born with certain traits which they received form their parents genes. However, the way in which a person develops is partly the responsibility of its environment. The younger the child the more impact the environment has on the child. Those experiences become their “world view” with which they look on all further events happening throughout their life, it becomes their representation of the world. The sooner we provide the right conditions the better. There is always the possibility to reprogram our mind but this is much harder than having a good start in the first place. So it’s up too us the adults to provide as much as possible the right conditions so the child can develop in to a happy person."

"Today was build yesterday; therefore, the young individual is our future and the foundation for tomorrow’s society."

Jerry Burm is Giving Children an Optimal Start in Life. It is a learning expedition on how to most effectively raise children into happy adults.

The goal of the site is to publish clear guidelines for the child’s environment (i.e. parents, teachers, child care takers…) on how to achieve this goal.

At her site Happy dyslexic which helps dyslexics achieve their potential and be happy, she Jerry Burm says about her site and herself:

"I discovered I had dyslexia at the age of 42. It was a positive experience to finally know the explanation for some aspects of my character.

In general, I was not so unhappy with myself, yet I wanted to improve certain skills, like being a better writer, reader, listener, being less confused and express myself more clearly. There were also a few things about myself, which puzzled me and I expected to find some answers after my search for more information about dyslexia. After finding answers to those questions, it was like discovering a part of me that I didn't know before, I had the feeling I could piece it all together.

Life is much easier if you know how you function
."

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Download millions of e-books at "Wrorld E-Book Fair" -2008


I am always in search of free stuff at the net and the regaular readers of this blog know that I share my free stuff links with them. Today I am here to inform you about an event which is a revolutioanary offer of downlading FREE e-books from the world wide web. For students, kids and teachers of course, this is a good chance to read your favourite e-books online, or you can save the books at your computer as well.

"Word E-Book Fair" is providing golden opportunity for reading lovers to downlad millions of e-books FREE of cost.

More information:

Third Annual World eBook Fair: July 4th to August 4th
Just two years ago The First World eBook Fair came on the scene with about 1/3 million books, doubled to 2/3 million in 2008, and now over one million.


Created by contributions from 100+ eLibraries from around the world, here are the largest collections.

As of midnight Central Daylight Time July 4, 2008 these are the approximate numbers:
100,000+ from Project Gutenberg
500,000+ from The World Public Library
450,000+ from The Internet Archive
160,000+ from eBooks About Everything
17,000+ from IMSLP

Grand Total = 1,227,000+

• Full Text Search of 500,000+ PDF eBook Titles in 100+ Languages.
• Open Access to eBooks from 7/04/08 to 8/04/08.

Which collection they are offering?

Search the collection page.
Start from this link: Browse the collection.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Tips and ideas to learn about behavior management

Behavior manangement is a skill which parents and teachers should learn to deal with children. This article would help you to get many tips and ideas from various sites. I have given links to the sites, which offer behavior manangement tips and ideas for parents and teachers.

Let's learn what is behavior management?

Wikipedia explains:
"Behavior management is similar to behavior modification. It is a less intensive version of behavior modification. In behavior modification the focus is on changing behavior, while in behavior management the focus is on maintaining order. Behavior management skills are particularly of importance to teachers in the educational system.Behavior management is all of the actions and conscious inactions to enhance the probability people, individually and in groups."

* LD Online offers an article on the topic:

When someone mentions behavior management, our first thought may be about controlling students or stopping them from performing inappropriate behaviors. We expend a great deal of energy managing students so that inappropriate behaviors will not occur.
Read the full article: Behavior Management: Getting to the Bottom of Social Skills Deficits
- Behavior Management Ideas

* Ask Dr. Sears is a site from William Sears, MD and Martha Sears, RN, who wrote 40+ pediatric books, articles in parenting magazines, and their appearances on more than 100 television programs such as 20/20, Donahue, Good Morning America, Oprah, CBS This Morning, CNN, NBC's Today Show and Dateline. After raising eight children and practicing pediatric medicine for more than 30 years, they have answered questions from thousands of parents. Their site provides a lot of articles on discipline and behavior
- Descipline and Behavior articles

* FREE e-book "Rules for Unruly Chilren":
This e-book offer is from "Parenting.Org" an online resource for free parenting help.
Rules for Unruly Children, written by Richard L. Munger for use by Boys Town, is meant to change your child's problem behavior as quickly as possible, using simple techniques that will work with most children. This book offers parenting approaches that:

- Can be learned quickly
- Can be used immediately
- Gives quick results
- Work with most problem behaviors

You can download FREE e-book "Rules for Unruly Chilren" from the link below. And please note that to get the e-book you should enter the U.S. A or Cananda address at the available form.
- Sign up page to get the book

* Intervention Central offers free tools and resources to help school staff and parents to promote positive classroom behaviors and foster effective learning for all children and youth. The site was created by Jim Wright, a school psychologist and school administrator from Central New York.

Visit to check out newly posted academic and behavioral intervention strategies, download publications on effective teaching practices, and use tools that streamline classroom assessment and intervention.
- At download section you can get link to many topics like as:

- Curriculum-Based Measurement: A Manual for Teachers. This 106-page manual gives instructions that educators can follow to prepare, administer, and score Curriculum-Based Measurement (CBM) probes in the classroom. [106 pages/File size: 3.39MBA Manual for Teachers

There are many other manuals and reports which you can download from the download page.

* This article is from "BehaviorAdvisor, which is from Dr. Mac (Tom McIntyre), a former teacher of students with behavior disorders and learning disabilities, is now a Professor of Special Education and Coordinator of the Graduate Program in Behavior Disorders at Hunter College of the City University of New York. An entertaining presenter, and author of 3 books and over 100 articles, he promotes practical, positive, and respectful management of defiant and aggressive behavior.

- Your Child Has A Behavior Disorder”

* This article is a series of training manuals provided by "Project PARA" which conducts research and develops training materials for paraeducators and teachers who supervise them. Based in the College of Education and Human Sciences Department of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The project provides Web-based self study programs that offer school districts resources to provide introductory training for paraeducators and/or the teachers who supervise them. These resources are offered free of charge to schools and teacher training programs.

- "Teacher Vision" provides many printables and articles helping you manage classroom descipline. Behavior Management

*

Thursday, July 3, 2008

A family blog from a parent

I usually review the sites which are related to teaching, learning, parenting and so on. Today's blog is from Rozz_Lea Rozie, who is a business Development Executive from Malaysia and a mom blogger. Blog is very colourful and especially I liked it for a personal touch. The topics you can find the posts about are:Random Daily Happenings, Family, Children, Life, Personal, Friends, News, Events, Thoughts, Poems, Foods, Cultures, Nature, Books,Travel and writings.

I spent a lot of time to see the posts and I was amazed to read some very appealing posts. As in her post "Morning thoughts" she says:
"You may not realize this, but it is nevertheless a fact.
If you set out with worry and depression,
of soul toward fate or man, you are giving the key note
to a day of discord and misfortunes.

If you think peace, hope, and happiness,
you are sounding a note of harmony and success.

The result may not be felt at once,
but it will not fail to make itself evident eventually.

Control your morning thoughts.

You can do it!
"

She hasn't mentioned that she likes to read self help topics, but from few of her posts I can estimate that she reads about variety of topics. Isn't it Rozie?

One thing I am confused about that blog is only few months old, but she could manage to write many posts in one month. As in April she had 18 posts, then in May 40 and June with 46 posts. It shows her interest in blog that she is very passionate about it.

Learn about "Children with learning disablities"

Few months age, in a teacher's meeting our principal suggested us to watch a Hindi movie "Taaray Zameen Par" to see a character of a teacher who has to deal with a child having learning disability (Dyslexia). Movie was excellent because I could realize that as an educator we have to deal with many kind of kids and if we don't deal every child individually, we can't say that we are successful teachers.

Every session of reception years brings new challenges for teachers like me. In session 2007-08 I have to fact the same situation, as a girl of 4 plus age was not doing well with activities or studies in classroom. Even at break time, she was notinterested in running or playing around. At the end of the session, I decided to read and search about "learning disabilities" and I suggest every parent and teacher to check if their children have any symptom of any disabiliy. To my opinion having proper knowledge of these mental disorder can help us improve the situation.

To write this article I have taken help from Learning Disabilities.org, which is world's leading website on learning disabilities and ADHD.

Facts about learning disabilities

- Fifteen percent of the U.S. population, or one in seven Americans, has some type of learning disability, according to the National Institutes of Health.
- Difficulty with basic reading and language skills are the most common learning disabilities. As many as 80% of students with learning disabilities have reading problems.
- Learning disabilities often run in families.
- Learning disabilities should not be confused with other disabilities such as mental retardation, autism, deafness, blindness, and behavioral disorders. None of these conditions are learning disabilities. In addition, they should not be confused with lack of educational opportunities like frequent changes of schools or attendance problems. Also, children who are learning English do not necessarily have a learning disability.
- Attention disorders, such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities often occur at the same time, but the two disorders are not the same.

What is learning disability?

When children have learning problems, their parents are usually the first to notice that something is just not right. Teachers often notice a child having trouble in their class. And when they notice, they want reliable information so they can help their children.

Definition: "A learning disability is a neurological disorder. In simple terms, a learning disability results from a difference in the way a person's brain is "wired." Children with learning disabilities are as smart or smarter than their peers. But they may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways."

A learning disability can't be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong issue. With the right support and intervention, however, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life.

Parents can help children with learning disabilities achieve such success by encouraging their strengths, knowing their weaknesses, understanding the educational system, working with professionals and learning about strategies for dealing with specific difficulties.

Common learning disabilities:

Dyslexia – a language-based disability in which a person has trouble understanding written words. It may also be referred to as reading disability or reading disorder.
Dyscalculia – a mathematical disability in which a person has a difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.
Dysgraphia – a writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters or write within a defined space.
Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders – sensory disabilities in which a person has difficulty understanding language despite normal hearing and vision.
Nonverbal Learning Disabilities – a neurological disorder which originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing problems with visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative and holistic processing functions.

Early Warning Signs of Learning Disabilities:

Learning disabilities affect one in seven people according to the National Institutes of Health. Parents, therefore, need to be familiar with the early indicators of a learning disability in order to get the right help as soon as possible.

The most common learning disability is difficulty with language and reading. A recent National Institutes of Health study showed that 67 percent of young students identified as being at risk for reading difficulties were able to achieve average or above average reading ability when they received help early
Below are several early warning signs commonly associated with learning disabilities between the preschool years and fourth grade. Many young children may exhibit one or two of these behaviors; however, consistent problems with a group of behaviors is a good indication your child may have a learning disability.

Early warning signs: Preschool

- Late talking, compared to other children
- Pronunciation problems
- Slow vocabulary growth, often unable to find the right word
- Difficulty rhyming words
- Trouble learning numbers, the alphabet, days of the week
- Extremely restless and easily distracted
- Trouble interacting with peers
- Poor ability to follow directions or routines
- Early warning signs: Kindergarten through fourth grade
- Slow to learn the connection between letters and sounds
- Confuses basic words (run, eat, want)
- Makes consistent reading and spelling errors including letter reversals (b/d), inversions (m/w), transpositions (felt/left), and substitutions (house/home)
- Transposes number sequences and confuses arithmetic signs (+, -, x, /, =)
- Slow recall of facts
- Slow to learn new skills, relies heavily on memorization
- Impulsiveness, lack of planning
- Unstable pencil grip
- Trouble learning about time
- Poor coordination, unaware of physical surroundings, prone to accidents

Source:
Early Warning Signs of Learning Disabilities

If you go to the site, you would get all the necessary information about the topic, but I am providing some more article links for a quick study:

* A lot of resources and article links at educators page:
- LD Online-Educators

* Parenting a child with learning disabilities or ADHD is a challenge. To assist you, LD OnLine has gathered the information to help you get started in understanding what your child needs, your rights and responsibilities in working with the school, and ways to support your son or daughter at home.:
- Parents

* Each month, Dr. Larry Silver, Matt Cohen, and Dr. Tracy Gray answer selected questions from parents and educators about learning disabilities and ADHD. See the expert advice they've provided to others who've written in. You might find an answer that applies to your own situation!

- Exper advice

What can parents do?
At "Move to Learn" site, Barbara Phelong (who is herself a resouce teacher, having a 35 years of experience in the field of special education )suggests these fun to learn activities, which can help in children with learning difficulties:
-
- Another article at the site may be helpful which is about "Spotting learning difficulties
Note: Site suggests to buy books on related topics, but still you can search for free stuff and get help.

* This article would be of interest to the parents, who don't see hope dealing with their child with learning disability.
- Life Success For Students With Learning Disabilities: A Parent's Guide

* Happy dyslexic The purpose of this site is to help dyslexics achieve their potential and be happy. We can contribute to this by bringing more understanding and a positive view on dyslexia, and ways on how to overcome the disadvantages of dyslexia.
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